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Parents who practice BDSM have greater risk of losing kids

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

Parents are losing custody battles when they have a kinky lifestyle

You wouldn't think that someone's personal sexual proclivity would have anything to do with how they raise their kids. However, parents often find themselves in custody battles when they're outed for being sexually "kinky."

It's an unfortunate thing that's been going on for decades now. Good parents who happen to have a yen for a less traditional sex life have lost their kids on many occasions when an angry ex or parent decides to make that personal side of them public. When a judge hears a parent described as a "sexual sadist," or having "multiple partners" it tends to tilt the favor away from them. I for one find this deplorable, because unless sexual behavior is enacted on a child, it is personal business, and should hold no weight in a court of law.

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According to The Daily Best, a woman named Samantha fell victim to this unnecessary targeting back in July 2013. She lost her children because her ex-boyfriend told social services she practiced BDSM. He exaggerated things by saying Samantha and her new boyfriend involved the children in some of their sexual escapades, and the social worker believed the allegations despite there being no proof.

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After her children had been taken away by social services, Samantha asked for a second evaluation and this time, she sought out the counseling of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. This not-for-profit does everything they can to help "less traditional" parents in similar situations including those who engage in BDSM and polyamory. They connected Samantha with like-minded legal representation. In no time at all, social services dropped the case of child abuse, and Samantha got her kids back.

However, this case may not have turned out so favorably for Samantha if it had happened just four years ago. NCSF spokesperson Susan Wright told The Daily Beast, "Four years ago, the NCSF had about 115 parents asking for their help and Wright said four out of five of them lost their custody battles." However, according to Wright, those numbers are starting to turn around.

Oddly enough, she says the mass appeal of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey has helped these parents enormously. Wright told The Daily Beast, "It's a silly romance novel, it doesn't accurately represent the BDSM community, but yet it really spread the word that the BDSM community exists because of the active engagement by the media.' Essentially, it made the idea of BDSM less taboo and more mainstream.

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I have close friends who participate in these so-called "kinky" sexual relationships, and just as any parent's sexual experiences are kept hidden from their children, so too are theirs so it's hard to see how sexual preference makes anyone a bad parent. Not to mention, calling something "kinky" is also completely subjective. What once might have fallen under that term (vibrator use, fellatio, anal sex), no longer does. Who's to say what's acceptably kinky and what's unacceptable in today's world?

However, some parents are still having a hard time because their form of "kink" is relatively misunderstood. The poly community would definitely benefit from some mainstream support. Perhaps we can get E L James to write a polyamorous-based sequel? It may sound silly, but if it worked so well for BDSM parents, it's certainly worth a try.

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